Tag Archives: Laquan McDonald

Good riddance: Rahm Emanuel won’t seek third-term as mayor

The people of Chiraq might have a chance to turn their city around…

USA Today reports that Emanuel won’t seek a third-term as mayor of Chicago, which was a surprise announcement.

Emanuel said, “As much as I love this job and will always love this city and its residents, I have decided not to seek re-election,” Emanuel said. “This has been the job of a lifetime, but it is not a job for a lifetime. You hire us to get things done – and pass the torch when we’ve done our best to do what you hired us to do.”

More from USA Today:

With Chicago enduring daunting levels of gun violence, a $36 billion public worker pension crisis and discontent in some corners of the city’s African-American population with his leadership, polls showed Emanuel faced a difficult, but not insurmountable, path to re-election.

A poll commissioned by one of Emanuel’s campaign backers and published last month showed that the mayor had backing of about 32 percent of voters in the crowded field – and a 19-point lead over his closest competitor, former police superintendent Garry McCarthy, but not enough to face avoid a runoff. The poll was conducted by New York-based Global Strategy Group. Emanuel also raised more than $10 million for the re-election effort.”

The announcement came on the eve of a police shooting trail (of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald) that has plagued his second term. Emanuel fought to keep the video of the police incident from the public yet a judge ordered it made public in November 2015.

From Chicago Tribune:

“Jury selection is scheduled to start Wednesday in the murder trial of Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot the knife-wielding teen 16 times in October 2014. Lawyers at the trial, which is poised to draw non-stop local media coverage and national attention, could spend weeks poring over the white officer’s decision to empty his magazine into the African-American 17-year-old, shooting him several times as he laid on the street.

Van Dyke’s lawyers are expected to argue self-defense.

Despite Emanuel’s exit, the McDonald shooting could still loom over the 2019 election, as the scandal shaped the careers of several contenders in the populous field. Candidates include Garry McCarthy, the former police superintendent Emanuel fired as the controversy deepened, and Lori Lightfoot, the former Chicago Police Board president who has played a central role in the administration’s police reform efforts.

In his remarks Tuesday morning, Emanuel largely focused on personal reasons for leaving office and did not directly address the McDonald scandal. His spokesman, Adam Collins, said the upcoming trial was not a factor in the decision.”

I’m guessing Emanuel saw the writing on the wall that Chicagoans want a new leader. Here’s hoping they elect one who can address the many, many problems which plague that progressive-run city.

DCG

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Chicago city lawyers offered Laquan McDonald family $5 million in "hush" money

And the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was up for re-election and buried the information. The corruption runs deep in Chicago…
mcdonald
Laquan McDonald was shot on October 20, 2014 by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke 16 times from about ten feet away. McDonald was a 17-year-old black male armed with a knife. Video of the shooting, captured on one police cruiser’s dashboard camera, was released to the public on November 24, 2015—over 13 months after the shooting and only after several independent investigators demanded release of records. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder a few hours after the video’s release. After turning himself in to authorities, he was initially ordered held without bail but released on November 30 after posting bail.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel claims he never saw the video showing the officer shooting. You believe that?
Now we find out that after meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, city lawyers offered the McDonald family $5 million in hush money – to bury the video.
The good mayor is lying: TownHall.com reports that new emails obtained by the Daily Beast show that city attorneys demanded that the McDonald family bury the dash cam footage. They also offered $5 million in “hush money” prior to the 2015 mayoral runoff. And guess when this happened? After they briefed the mayor.
rahm_emanuel_2
The Beast also said that the emails showed the McDonald family agreed to keep the video buried. I guess $5 million is the going rate for “hush money” in Chicago.
From the emails (via Daily Beast):

City of Chicago lawyers, after meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, demanded the Laquan McDonald family bury the video showing the killing of their son by a police officer.
Emanuel said last month that Stephen Patton, Chicago’s corporation counsel, briefed him “towards the end of March” about what the dashboard-camera video showed and about the proposed $5 million settlement with McDonald’s estate.
[…]
Emanuel had maintained since McDonald’s death that he has never seen the dash-cam video, but the emails prove the mayor knew exactly what the footage showed when city lawyers negotiated a deal that would at least delay the video’s release. Attorneys for McDonald’s estate sent Platt screenshots of the video and a detailed description
[…]
Emanuel’s lawyers were offering $5 million in hush money to keep this hidden just weeks before the runoff election. And the biggest part of the deal—that McDonald family attorneys agreed to keep the video to themselves until criminal proceedings were concluded—just so happened to be inked the day after Emanuel was re-elected.
[…]
[T]he City Council voted unanimously to approve the $5 million settlement in just 36 seconds. Emanuel banged a gavel to mark the approval and the end—or so he thought—of the greatest threat to his mayoralty.
Emanuel’s lawyers were offering $5 million in hush money to keep the video hidden just weeks before the runoff election.
Emanuel wrote in a December op-ed in the Chicago Tribune that the settlement couldn’t be part of a cover-up because it was the McDonald family’s attorneys who approached the city wanting to settle. What was not mentioned by Emanuel is that those same attorneys first rejected, then somehow agreed to, the city’s desire to bury the video until criminal proceedings had been completed.
[…]
But the settlement agreement never required the McDonald family’s attorneys to hold the video until an investigation was completed. Instead, over the objections of the McDonald estate, Platt and the city pressed for language that would keep the video hidden far beyond the end of investigations and until as long as a criminal trial was concluded.

Not only do the emails show the effort to cover up what really happened to Laquan McDonald went to the top of the Emanuel administration, they also show the mayor’s office was pulling strings at the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), which, as its name indicates, should be independent.
The Associated Press reported that there was coordination between the mayor’s office, the police department, and IPRA during this investigation. The Laquan McDonald incident has proven to be the biggest threat to Emanuel’s political career–not to mention an issue that could also torpedo his personal reputation. Forget the ethical issues with “pulling strings” on a law enforcement investigatory board, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the paper trail suggests the mayor’s office knew this event could sink Emanuel’s re-election prospects.
chicago way
There’s a bill proposed in the state legislature to set protocols for a recall election to remove a Mayor of Chicago. Don’t hold your breath that this will actually change anything. After all, they don’t call it “The Chicago Way” for nothing.
h/t josephbc69!
DCG

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